El General

Courtesy of FAPECFT

No, not that General from Panama (remember Tu Pum Pum?) I'm talking about a new film from director Natalia Almada about the dictator who shaped the Mexican Revolution. Winner of the Sundance Film Festival’s US Directing Award for a documentary, El General screened at New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) on Sunday, May 16 and will reprise on Friday, May 21 at 7 p.m. as part of the Creative Capital exhibition. Almada will introduce the film on both dates. To purchase tickets, visit moma.org.

If you're outside the NY area, you can still catch it on PBS on Tuesday, July 20, as part of the POV (Point of View) docu series (check local listings.)

More about the film:

Past and present collide as award-winning filmmaker Natalia Almada (Al Otro Lado, POV 2006) brings to life audio recordings she inherited from her grandmother, daughter of Plutarco Elias Calles, a revolutionary general who became Mexico’s president in 1924. In his time, Calles was called El Jefe Maximo (the Foremost Chief). Today he is remembered as El Quema-Curas (the Priest Burner) and as a dictator who ruled through puppet presidents until his exile in 1936. Presented during the centennial of the Mexican Revolution, El General moves between a daughter’s memories as she grapples with history’s portrayal of her father and the weight of his legacy on Mexico today.
 
Using archival and original footage, Hollywood films and still photographs, as well as interviews with modern working-class street vendors, Almada searches to understand the scope of her own extraordinary connection to Mexico’s history and creates a deeply compassionate portrait of the Mexican people and the forces that have shaped their country.

Watch the trailer and learn more at pbs.org

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